Oral Session 3: Is truth better than fiction? : Using fairy tales to teach peer evaluation skills
Date & Time
Monday, March 16, 2020, 4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Description of the problem or issue: Peer evaluation can be an opportunity to teach students giving effective and constructive feedback. While many academics use specifically designed sessions to teach peer evaluation skills and model effective feedback, students often have poor engagement with these sessions and are reluctant to provide formative feedback to their peers. They often do not want their team mates to know if they are unhappy with their performance, as they fear retaliation during summative peer evaluation at the end of the course. This leads to student reluctance to engage in formative evaluations and results in missed opportunities to practice providing effective feedback._x000D_ _x000D_ Proposed solutions or approaches: We introduced a new approach to teaching peer evaluation skills in our 10-week TBL course that teaches Head, Neck and Back anatomy elective to third year medical science students at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. The aim was to address problems with poor engagement with peer-evaluation and student reluctance to practice giving feedback. We gave students a choice to either perform a formative evaluation of their actual peers or fictional fantasy characters Snow White, Shrek and Donkey - we then compared the quality of feedback given by the students. Students who chose to evaluate the fantasy characters were more engaged in the process and provided better quality feedback compared to students who chose to evaluate their peers during formative workshop. We theorise that this may be due to the task being less threatening and having greater familiarity with the fantasy characters than with their teammates at that point of the course._x000D_ _x000D_ Limitations: The overall experience of using fantasy characters in the peer-evaluation workshop was positive and produced more constructive feedback. However, as the students had a choice, self-selection bias could not be ruled out.